Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement following the Senate vote on S. 3220, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill needed 60 votes to proceed and was blocked by Republicans on a 52-47 vote.
“I am extremely disappointed that my Republican colleagues have once again said ‘no’ to a commonsense bill to make sure women were given equal pay for equal work. Republicans did agree to one thing today, however. At a time when women in my home state of Washington are still making only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, they said ‘yes’ to maintaining the status quo.
“The Paycheck Fairness Act isn’t just about women. It’s not just about fairness. It’s about the economy as well. When women aren’t paid what they deserve, middle class families and communities pay the price. I am going to keep fighting for this legislation, and I urge my Republican colleagues to put partisanship aside and work with us to get this done for women and girls across America.”
Key excerpts from Sen. Murray’s floor speech:
“Over the past few months, many of us have stood together to fight back against partisan attacks on policies impacting women across America. We haven’t started these fights—but we weren’t going to stand by and watch as they rolled back the clock.
“But every time we stood up to defend women—our friends on the other side of the aisle would jump right up and say we were creating ‘distractions,’ or ‘manufactured issues.’ They would say we should be focused on the economy. As if we were the ones changing the subject and making the partisan attacks.
“Well, we’re not going to stop standing up for women and families. And to those of my colleagues who claim to be so concerned about the economy and the middle class—now’s your chance to prove to your constituents that you really mean what you say. Because the Paycheck Fairness Act isn’t just about women. And it’s not just about fairness. It’s about the economy. When women aren’t paid what they deserve, middle class families and communities pay the price.”
“Women in my home state of Washington still earn 77 cents on the dollar; a pay gap that averages $11,834 in lost earnings each year. That’s an extra 90 weeks of groceries or 179 tanks of gasoline. To women in Washington and to most women across America, that’s certainly not a ‘manufactured issue’ It’s very real!”
“I was proud to stand with Senator Mikulski, other Members of Congress and the President as he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 to give women who are victims of pay discrimination the tools they need to seek justice. However, our work is far from complete. We are still not yet at the point where our daughters can expect to earn the same amount over their lifetime as our sons—and that has to change.”